If the Dems want to exert their majority in the Senate by never bringing the house bills up for a vote, then the Reps should be fully entitled to use their majority in the House to hold onto the purse strings. There is no hostage taking here beyond Democrat rhetoric.
The Dems failure to vote on house bills do so beccause they realize it's a political strategy especially designed by the GOP. Republicans pick and choose the bills they submit to the senate so it will not make them, the GOP, look bad...they don't want the public's growing rage directed at them so they, cunningly, are trying to shift the blame to the Dems by bringing in bills like for cancer treatments etc. The other day, there was an outrage in the press because the Republicans had overlooked or deliberately did not mention WIC, i.e., "Women with Infant Children." So the GOP sought to blunt the criticism; they introduced a bill for WIC. Everyone realizes what the Republicans are up to; if they wanted to do the right thing they would not "pit one group against another" but allow the government to re-open. This political maneuvering by the GOP is as plain as the nose on one's face and they think if they stand firm, Obama will disavow his "landmark legislation act."
The Democrats are correct to stand strong, and the polls are behind them. The reason the GOP is so desperate to overturn the Affordable Health Care Act is because once Americans get used to it, regardless who gets into power in the future they would not be able to repeal it....., like Medicare and Social Security.....Ted Cruz said himself, "once they get used to the sugar they won't let go."